Rare Rides: The Extremely Valuable 1967 Toyota 2000GT

rare rides the extremely valuable 1967 toyota 2000gt

The Toyota 2000GT’s been a legend for decades now. A simple mention of its name conjures up the correct silhouette. Eyes glaze over at the gentle curves, classic sports coupe proportions, and the big front lamps trapped behind plexiglass.

Today we’ll dig a little deeper into this legend.

Toyota needed a bit of help when it came to sports cars, as the company had a singular such vehicle under its belt: the microscopic 800 Sports Coupe. Keeping its first-ever sports car in mind, Toyota wondered how it might do something more. At this point Nissan enters, stage left.

Nissan hired Yamaha to take the lead on a new sports car design. The two companies had worked together before, and in those days Yamaha made a business out of making designs for other Japanese manufacturers. Nissan’s request? A 2000GT. Yamaha got to work and built a prototype. The forward-thinking brass at Nissan declined the design, preferring to move on to other ideas. Left with the unsold prototype, Yamaha approached the conservative suits at Toyota.

“No, but that’s an interesting idea,” they said. With that, Toyota accepted the 2000GT proposal in an attempt to shake off the company’s stodgy image. With the original Nissan 2000GT prototype junked, design work started anew, this time lead by Toyota. Satoru Nozaki penned the new shape of the 2000GT, and the rest of the project proceeded jointly at Yamaha and Toyota.

A show car debuted at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, entering production at the Yamaha factory in 1967. The sleek coupe had pop-up headlights in addition to the large driving lamps, almost no bumpers, and sat at under 46 inches in total height. Aiming for European competition like Porsche, Toyota didn’t skimp on the interior. A comfortable place, there was a rosewood dash, a fancy radio, and nice seats. Very late-run models had a slightly revised interior, with air conditioning and an optional automatic transmission.

The majority of models came fitted with a 2.0-liter inline-six from the Toyota Crown, massaged by Yamaha. The company attached a couple of new Mikuni-Solex two-barrel carbs, plus a new dual overhead cam. 148 horsepower traveled to the rear via a five-speed manual. A special run of nine cars coded “MF-12” had a larger 2.3-liter engine with a lower output. Also derived from the Crown, it used a single overhead cam and produced around 115 horsepower. Top speed was 135 miles an hour in the more powerful version.

Always intended as a limited-run vehicle, the 2000GT’s production lasted for three years, during which just 351 examples were produced. In 1967 it asked $6,800 in the U.S., or around $53,300 today. Around 60 were sold in North America, and as a halo model Toyota lost money on each one.

Today’s Rare Ride was formerly owned by racing driver Otto Linton, and restored to original condition in Maine. It goes on sale May 1, 2020 as part of the Elkhart Collection. 2000GTs usually go for over $1 million.

(H/t to commenter FreedMike for pointing out this Rare Ride.)

[Images: seller]

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Feb 28, 2020

    I've seen two of these. The first was in a garage on a property in Brooklyn, about 30 years ago. It was on flat tires, and covered in that grey dust that collects when a car sits for years. Even then, it was special and cried to be rescued. The second one was recently at the Toyota Museum in Japan. The engine and car all have classic lines. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Toyota can do this, but contracts out to BMW for the current Supra. In a money no object car collection, there would be one of these.

    • Maymar Maymar on Feb 29, 2020

      If Toyota completely built their own Supra, would you buy one? Given that the only six in their current lineup is a V rather than inline, what would the reception be to using that (not great, I imagine)? Would a Toyota-built Supra help them sell more Camrys and RAV4s? The 370Z is a pretty okay sports car, certainly great value, and completely Nissan, and absolutely no one buys one anymore. Couple in the safety and emissions requirements that Toyota didn't have to contend with 55 years ago (or 30ish years ago when designing the MkIV), and basically the only business case for any Supra is "make Akio Toyoda happy."

  • Brn Brn on Feb 29, 2020

    My first reaction upon seeing the car was "Toyota didn't design it". Turns out Yamaha did. WTF didn't Yamaha design more vehicles???

  • Raven65 This is utter BS and people need to push back hard against it by refusing to buy the affected vehicles. I find it interesting that this only applies to Buick, Cadillac, and GMC... the "premium" GM brands. I guess they're betting that the people who buy these brands won't balk at a $1500 shakedown (and they may be right). I just read an article about the redesigned Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins that are about to start production. This will definitely push people away from the GMC toward the Chevy. Why does GMC still exist anyway? I can't believe they kept that division around back when they went bankrupt, reorganized and shed Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer - given that GMCs are literally nothing more than rebadged Chevys. Nobody uses OnStar... and FORCING people to subscribe to it is not going to make it any more relevant. It just needs to go away.
  • Arthur Dailey I checked the link to Artillery World in the hopes that I could purchase something to turn an old Nissan or Toyota truck into a pseudo 'Technical'. Unfortunately it seems that they sell fireworks. Another great posting by Murilee. Sure wish that there was a way to get that vintage Olds back on the road. The plaques and labels alone are a history lesson.
  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information